Monday, October 13, 2014

Transition Week

Wow...  What a whirlwind of performances and such the last six weeks.  As we head out of one season and into another, I thought I would keep you up to speed on how things work for the next few months.

First of all, we still have two regular-season football games - this Friday and next.  Both of those games will be covered by the track band.  If your son or daughter has had an absence due to illness, etc., this would be a great opportunity to make it up.

Following the end of the season, the Dux will be in the MHSAA playoffs again, with the first game being on Halloween; I haven't yet decided what we are going to do with that game yet, but am leaning toward track band again.  On November 7 the fall production of Zeeland High Players will be in session, so that week will need to be a quiet one in the band room.  We have historically used the track band that weekend as well.  As I said, I will keep everyone posted as those dates get closer.

This week we will be making some transitions during class as well.  Today we begin with some general housekeeping and cleaning; the carpets were cleaned over the weekend, and today we will put a few things away until they 're needed again as well as making sure uniforms, instruments, etc. are where they belong at all times.  (This can be very difficult with 200 students; even when things are where they belong the room can look very cluttered.  I try to maintain my composure...)

I am also planning a "Freshman Day" this week, in which we do a lunch period switch so I can see the freshmen by themselves.  I think I have a pretty good handle on who everyone is, but I will admit that this is the hardest part of my job - getting to know over 60 new people while getting 200 to do 10-12 performances!  They get thrown to the lions, so to speak, and I don't get a chance to really meet everyone until we come inside for concert stuff.

Speaking of the split lunch period, here's how that works:
During the remainder of first semester the large 4th hour class is split into two bands - Concert and Symphonic.  The time block that includes lunch and 4th hour is split, so that while one group is at lunch the other is at class.  Last year we alternated days with this plan and it worked very well.  I will let the students know how this works; you don't need all of the details!

Once first semester is done, those two bands split to different hours - Symphonic Band remains 4th hour and Concert Band becomes 3rd hour.  Your children's schedules already reflect this.

More on "sit-down" band in a future post.  For now, let's all take some time to breathe, relax, and enjoy some time without the pressure of performances for a while!



Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6

I almost didn't get to this today!  Kind of an important week, too...

Here's what's up for the week:

TONIGHT is our final Monday night rehearsal.  I told the kids there's no reason we shouldn't be done early.  Feel free to come by the stadium by 8:15 or so and watch the final run-through.

TOMORROW is festival.  I sent a detailed email on Friday; here is the text of that in case you missed it - 
DATE:  Tuesday, October 7

TIME:  Begins at 6:30 p.m. with Saugatuck HS.  ZHS performs at 8:30.  Come for the whole evening and enjoy some great bands!

PLACE:  Zeeland Stadium

ADMISSION:  $5.00 per adult, $3.00 for students grades 6-12.  K-5 students free


 - Students must report to the band room by 7:00 p.m. to dress and prepare to walk to the stadium
 - Parents who are assisting with percussion equipment should report at this time as well
 - We warm up at 7:45 p.m.
 - Move to stadium at 8:15
 - Performance at 8:30.
 - There is only one band after we are done.  We will move to our end zone bleachers and WAIT for the ratings announcements after we perform
 - We should be done by 9:15
 - Students are not dismissed until ratings are announced - it will only be about 20 minutes after our performance is done.

This performance is the ONE AND ONLY TIME that I make no exceptions for athletic events.  Students are expected to be here at the times listed.  Arrangements must be made with the coaching staff to make sure this happens.

FRIDAY is our last "official" full-uniformed, full band required football performance.  This will also be Senior Night, and all of the seniors will be introduced after our halftime show.

A brief word about MHSAA football playoffs...  The way it looks now, West will again be playing deep into the annual tournament.  If there is a game, there will be some type of band there.  We usually do Track Band for a couple, etc.  I will keep everyone posted.  For the post-season games I am very lenient on attendance (I actually missed the very first playoff game West ever did because I had tickets to something that night), but not to the point that marching is voluntary.  There WILL be some full-band, full-uniform nights; it won't all be pep band stuff.  When that becomes a more pertinent item to deal with I will send more specific details.  But at this point?  I'd double-check the Thanksgiving weekend travel plans...  (Don't worry, Ford Field isn't required, either.  But it's a lot of fun and we hope everyone can participate.)